Remembering Corinth, Part 7-Life Revolved Around the Church

DFH Volume 1 Issue 16

Remembering Corinth, by Dave Hayes, is a ten-part series about Dave’s remembrances of Corinth in the late ‘50s.  Dave, a retired elementary teacher and guidance counselor (36 years), and part time adjunct professor in the Counseling Dept. at nearby West Chester Univ. (24 years-8 after his “first” retirement) lives in Pottstown, PA.  He and his wife, Kathleen, had four children, Heather, Jeremy, Emily (d.2008) and Benjamin.  He descends from Wilber Sr. as follows: Wilber Sr., Rev. Charles “Chop” Dayton, Isabelle “Izzie” [Dayton] Hayes, David Hayes.

Part 7 – Life Revolved Around the Church

School life and home life and exploring the town were secondary to the time spent in the Corinth Wesleyan Church.  Most of my memories that year are associated with time there and with the special people with whom I interacted at church.  Grampa would be up front in the pulpit leading the hymns with unmatched gusto or preaching with fervency & deep conviction or encouraging even the youth to give their testimonies during prayer meeting.  Gramma Jo would be sitting in the pews hoping Charles would not make a personal reference or she would be leading a women’s meeting or directing Vacation Bible School each summer.  I’d be in the back pews with Jimmy & Cammie & Keith trying to keep a low profile but still managing to goof around from time to time.  Everyone was SO friendly and welcoming from the beginning and we felt at home here right away.  There were folks that my Mom knew from her childhood & teen years, assorted cousins from both sides of her family and all those precious aunts and uncles who were glad to have Izzie around, if only for a season.  They were supportive and gracious, knowing how tough it was to have a husband so far away for so long.  That church enveloped us and made us “family” the minute we walked through the door.  We had Sunday School and church suppers in the recently completed Education Building and played softball in the summer and went ice skating in the winter out behind the church.  When it was time for Bible School, we gathered outside, lining up with our class behind our class banner.  We followed the American & Christian flags and the Bible into the sanctuary and pledged allegiance to each before singing the theme song for the year.  Then it was off to our classes for Bible stories, crafts, snacks and games.  Those two weeks were the highlight of my Corinth summer!  It wasn’t until years later, when I was directing my own church’s Bible School, that I again copied Gramma Jo’s formula for marches, pledges and opening songs.  What a wonderful tradition I learned there.

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